Situation: A small company has a key employee who has been with them for one year. Previously, this individual had been a production manager in a large company managing as many as 100 employees. He excels at analysis, QA and other “doer” roles but has not demonstrated strong supervisory skills. How do you address a key manager functioning at 80%?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Small companies are different from large ones. In a small company, people must wear multiple hats and be willing to roll up their sleeves with the others. The atmosphere can be very different in a large company. Past experience in a large company does not mean that previous skills are transferable.
- If the person is not a fit for your needs and organization, then you must find a fit or make a change.
- Do you have room on your payroll for a job appropriate to this individual’s skills and talents? If so retain him in a new role. If not, then take action.
- Engineers often do not transition well to management positions. Different skill sets are required. Shortcomings may have been masked in a large company.
- If your future need is for an individual to take on many or your current responsibilities in the role of General Manager, hire an individual who has demonstrated success in this position in a company of in size and focus as yours.
- If you need to hire a different person, review your selection process.
- If this position requires the wearing of multiple hats, indicate the range of responsibilities in the position description.
- During the selection process query candidates on their experience handling these responsibilities. Ask open questions and look for specific instances where they have demonstrated talent. Confirm responses in reference checks.
Key Words: HR, Selection, Performance, Doer, Manager, Supervisor, Big vs. Small Company, Success, Experience, Selection, Position Description, References